Physical Activity at School

How Much Physical Activity Do Kids Need?

For health benefits it is recommended that Children and Youth aged 5 to17:

  • Accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily
    • At least 3 days/ week of vigorous activities (e.g. running, swimming, rollerblading)
    • At least 3 days/ week of muscle and bone strengthening activities (e.g. hopping, skipping, jumping)
    • Activity can be added up in five or ten minute intervals
  • Cut sedentary activities (such as video games and watching television) by 60 minutes per day

Tips to Get Children More Active:

Physical activity doesn’t mean sports – there are other, simple ways to make physical activity a part of daily life. Here are some ideas:
  • Do DPA on non gym days
  • Send students home with physical activity homework
  • Build active opportunities into daily classroom routines
  • Encourage students to join a school sport or intramural team
  • Play active games at recess and before or after school
  • Walk to school
  • Let parents know the many Benefits of Physical Activity for their children

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Why is Physical Activity important?

Children need to be physically active for healthy growth and development and to:

  • Develop cardiovascular fitness
  • Build muscle and bone strength, and
  • Increase flexibility

Other benefits for active children:

  • Improved self-esteem and body image
  • Decreased rates of developing depression
  • Less likely to use tobacco and illegal drugs
  • Better able to concentrate
  • Improved academic achievement
  • Better able to cope with stress

Helpful Links:

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For more information

Revised: Wednesday November 23 2011

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